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JohnC

Amazon goes to Middle Earth

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http://deadline.com/2017/11/amazon-the-lord-of-the-rings-tv-series-multi-season-commitment-1202207065/

 

Amazon have reached a deal with the Tolkien Estate, Harper Collins and New Line. It's for a series set prior to Fellowship of the Ring and an additional unspecified potential spin-off. Apparently it will not be limited to material from the books and can include new material featuring the characters.

 

This actually comes from the Tolkien Estate approaching studios rather than studios seeking permission. They had also approached Netflix and HBO.

 

It seems Amazon are paying $200 million for the rights. Just the rights. Actually making the thing will be an additional hefty cost.

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Amazon will be hoping to get something out just in time for game of thrones finishing up - see if they can attract that audience as well as the Tolkien fans - expect a more adult take on LOTR - so yeah sexy shelob and some brutal monster deaths. 

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As a massive Tolkien fan I'm excited. There's a huge wealth of brilliant stories. But they are very much of the old English/ biblical tradition rather than game of thrones. Would be more excited if it was set in the first or second age but hey ho.

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Here to bolster up the excited club. GoT style big-budget TV feels like a perfect place for more Middle Earth stories, be they culled from the appendices or not. They just have to make sure they spend the money and give it the level of attention it deserves. I saw this news floating about a couple of weeks ago when it was suggested it was going to be another straight adaptation of the LotR books, and while I was a bit apprehensive about that I was still enticed by the idea. Obviously it feels like Jackson nailed it cinematically for at least a few generations, but I don't consider those films untouchable.

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17 minutes ago, Sabreman said:

Here to bolster up the excited club. GoT style big-budget TV feels like a perfect place for more Middle Earth stories, be they culled from the appendices or not. They just have to make sure they spend the money and give it the level of attention it deserves. I saw this news floating about a couple of weeks ago when it was suggested it was going to be another straight adaptation of the LotR books, and while I was a bit apprehensive about that I was still enticed by the idea. Obviously it feels like Jackson nailed it cinematically for at least a few generations, but I don't consider those films untouchable.

 

I guess if they can treat it like a completely separate entity and do their own thing with it, then it could be worth a go. 

 

Ideally, I'd love to see something done with the Silmarillion, but I'm guessing that would need an unfeasibly large budget ever for the bigger guys in TV land.

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Hasn’t everyone got LOTR fatigue? I thought The Hobbit proved that. It wasn’t a terrible trilogy but we had seen it all before.

 

cant help but feel the same way about this. Given how much the rights were, and how much the series will cost to produce - It has massive flop written all over it.

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It's all about tone. It could be really good but in all likelihood will be awful. 

 

I can can get on with the LOTR films but the Hobbit films are terrible (whereas the book is better imo). 

 

Hopefully with a smaller budget they won't fall back on lots of special effects. 

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10 hours ago, JoeK said:

Ideally, I'd love to see something done with the Silmarillion

 

I've said this in every LOTR thread we've ever had, and I'm not about to stop now.

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Yeah people only get fatigued with stuff if it's shit. As soon as something is good we lap up hours of it. 

 

I wonder what they'll call it? Something that just oozes hours of deadlocked meetings between a network that wants to bank on the brand name vs the creatives that want to "break away with something different" and "tell our own stories".

 

"Tales of Middle Earth" or something. 

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I can't really see how anyone can say it'll be shit when we don't know who is making it, who will be in it, what it'll be about, what characters will be featured, how long it'll run for or anything aside from a very loose time frame and the fact that Amazon have paid a lot for the rights.

 

If they announce James Corden as the lead in a hilarious bawdy spoof set in Smirkwood featuring a soundtrack from Nickelback, fine - lambast away.  But I'm prepared to wait and see first!

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I find a "shit until proven otherwise" policy is best when dealing with obviously boardroom directed creative endeavours. If it turns out to be unexpectedly good, like the Fargo series, you can still watch it, even though you also got to also have your cake by lambasting the money men who farted out the concept when it was first announced.

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20 hours ago, JohnC said:

This actually comes from the Tolkien Estate approaching studios rather than studios seeking permission. They had also approached Netflix and HBO.

 

It seems Amazon are paying $200 million for the rights. Just the rights. Actually making the thing will be an additional hefty cost.

 

So everybody else who was sane told them where to go when shown the price label? :P

 

I know Jeff Bezos is desperate to get one over the competition, but $200 Million just for the chance to make this doesn't sound like the best idea. HBO certainly spent nowhere near that to land their fantasy series which probably didn't come with pages of creative restrictions due to the brand attached to it.

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2 minutes ago, mushashi said:

 

So everybody else who was sane told them where to go when shown the price label? :P

 

I know Jeff Bezos is desperate to get one over the competition, but $200 Million just for the chance to make this doesn't sound like the best idea. HBO certainly spent nowhere near that to land their fantasy series which probably didn't come with pages of creative restrictions due to the brand attached to it.

Rules:

 

-No strong fermale characters

-Brown people must be baddies

-Orcs speak Cockney

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Hobbit trilogy wasn't terrible, by any definition of the word. Worse than hoped, expected or anticipated, sure, but not terrible. 

 

I'm cautiously optimistic about this. I love the world and would welcome more stories set away from the ring saga in the same way I'm looking forward to star wars stories away from the Skywalker saga. 

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Surely the Hobbit being bad was a product of the way it was put together, and by whom. Of all the things out there at the moment, I wouldn't put up Middle Earth as something we're all tired of, nor necessarily the genre.

 

As for $200m, Bezos is just ramping up content and throwing silly money around to loss lead. If it works, it's probably more reasonable thought of as production costs spread over x seasons.

 

I suppose I'm being lenient as a massive Tolkien fan and fully embroiled in the Amazon ecosystem.

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Aragon was 80 something by LOTR, I'm sure he must of done something interesting in those 80 years. In fact that would make him about the same age as Denethor and Theoden,  so you could make the show about those 3 in their early 20s. 

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Apparently this all came about because Christopher Tolkien has resigned from the Tolkien estate. He was one of the biggest critics of Jackson's adaptation and was seen as the stopping block for further adaptation (and other media/theme parks etc) of Tolkien's work. This now opens the gates for further licensing and adaptations, hence the Amazon deal. Tolkien's son resigned back in August but the news has only just been released.

 

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2017/11/15/104426-in-historic-move-christopher-tolkien-resigns-as-director-of-tolkien-estate/

 

http://www.slashfilm.com/christopher-tolkien-resigns/

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Hell, even I'm moderately excited and I don't even like LOTR (that much)! TV Drama has been stellar for the past few years and I can easily see this take over the GoT crowd. 

 

Here's hoping this'll be quality. :)

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I would love for them to just do the whole story from the start of the universe with the music and the lights and everything, up to Sauron getting his fingers chopped off, as an ongoing, neverending epic. Like Doctor Who or something - they'd just start at the beginning and as the years went on we'd go through different stories produced by different teams and with different casts. But they'd all be themed and styled as a series. I probably wouldn't even watch it but I'd stumble across an episode every year or so and be excited about the fact that they'd got to, say , the War of Wrath. Then I'd have a good time reading this thread and Wikipedia episode synopsis for an hour or so. 

So yes I am broadly speaking in favour of this. 

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I loved the Hobbit films!  Yeah it wasn't as good as LorR, but still good stuff.

 

Knowing there's going to be a middle earth set TV show in the future excites me, but I really hope they do it well and don't turn it into Game of Thrones type show. I love Game of Thrones too but Tolkien's world comes from a different place.

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